Körber Multilateralism Lab

Initiated in 2020, the Körber Multilateralism Lab aimed to develop innovative approaches to shape the future of the multilateral order. Together with the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), we brought together wide-ranging and in-depth expertise in facilitating international dialogue, independent high-quality research, and two global networks of thought leaders and policy experts.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions were a painful reminder that we are increasingly facing global challenges that unilateral action cannot address. On the one hand, pre-existing global trends such as introspection and anti-globalist tendencies have been aggravated and accelerated. On the other hand, the need for global cooperation has increased even more.

In three virtual meetings throughout 2020 – the concluding session having taken place in the wake of the US election in November – the Lab brought together a select group of policy experts, public officials and academics in a confidential setting. With the help of forward-looking debates and collaborative tools, participants explored new ideas beyond thought barriers and tested impulses to improve international cooperation and the effectiveness of the multilateral system.

The Report

The Körber Multilateralism Lab Report offers innovative perspectives on a potential rescue and reboot of the multilateral system, and specific recommendations for the governance of global health, trade, security, and climate change. It is a call to improve representation of the Global South – a key imperative for multilateralism to work in a meaningful way – and to seek like-minded allies transcending the North-South divides. The report gives new insights into how winning narratives might be developed to build and reinforce support for multilateralism. Underpinning both the general and the specific policy recommendations are questions of values, interests, and purpose. Embracing the momentum of reinvigorated transatlantic relations, our goal was to develop a blueprint for a meaningful reform of the multilateral order to better deal with current and future challenges.

The launch of the Körber Multilateralism Lab Report took place on Thursday, 20 May 2021 in partnership with the Munich Security Conference.


Making it Matter
Thought Experiments for Meaningful Multilateralism